GLENWOOD, Minn. - A report that a zebra mussel was found in Lake Minnewaska in Pope County near Glenwood has sparked the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to investigate.
While removing trash blown into the lake from a severe storm last summer, lakeshore residents found what appears to be an adult zebra mussel attached to the metal portion of a boat seat mount that was submerged in four feet of water, officials said.
On July 18, DNR snorkeling crews conducted a shoreline survey to confirm the presence of a zebra mussel population and determine the extent of any infestation, but no additional zebra mussels were found in the area.
Officials said they are expanding their search away from the discovery site.
"We want to start at ground zero and then work outward," said Nathan Olson, aquatic invasive species specialist in Fergus Falls, in a news release. "We didn't find any mussels in the spot where the boat seat mount was located, so we will search the surrounding area, moving further and further outward."
If zebra mussels are not immediately confirmed, more thorough surveys will be conducted this fall when boat lifts and docks are pulled from the water, DNR officials said.
This would be the first zebra mussel infestation reported in Pope County. The DNR will designate Minnewaska as an infested water and educational and enforcement efforts to limit the spread of invasive species will increase at the lake.
More information about aquatic invasive species is available on DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/index_aquatic.html.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)